What you eat for breakfast can set the tone for the entire day. For growing kids, this first meal is especially important! Getting young people into a good breakfast routine early in life will set them up for a lifetime of healthy habits.
Why morning meals matter:
- Studies indicate that eating a healthy breakfast can positively affect cognitive function and academic performance, and support emotional stability and alertness.
- Research also suggests that children who eat breakfast regularly are more likely to meet overall recommendations for vitamin and mineral intake.
- Kids who skip breakfast do not typically make up the nutrients later in the day. Instead, they tend to fill up on nutrient-poor snacks at school and are less likely to eat enough fruits and veggies.
- Eating breakfast is associated with increased likelihood of healthy weight throughout life.
The Big 3: Protein, whole grains and fruits & veggies
“The Big 3” are the meal components that I believe are the most important parts of a healthy breakfast. Here’s why…
- Protein will keep you feeling full until lunch.
- Whole grains give you long-lasting energy so that you can think well and feel energized all morning.
- Fruits & veggies give you a great source of the vitamins and minerals your body needs to work at its best all day.
If you think you might be skimping on any of the Big 3, here are some solutions!
Do you have enough PROTEIN? If not, then add…
- Eggs, beans, nuts or nut butter, yogurt, cottage cheese, tofu
- Try this high protein recipe:
Do you have enough WHOLE GRAINS? If not, then add…
- Oatmeal, breakfast quinoa, whole grain bread or toast, whole grain tortillas, granola, whole grain cereal (choose one with less than 6 grams sugar per serving)
- Try this recipe packed with whole grains:
Do you have enough Fruits & Veggies? If not, then add…
- Sautéed spinach, mushrooms or peppers with eggs or tofu, fresh fruit on yogurt or oatmeal, avocado toast, apples or bananas with nut butter instead
- Try this veggie-packed breakfast:
No time to prepare a recipe? Here are some super easy 3 ingredient breakfasts for busy mornings!